The UTA Aeroclassics 747-200 is one of those rarer 747 models that is hard to come by and goes for big bucks. Waffle actually recently sold one for $175 and in general his prices are lower than eBay. So for $17.60 after discount I didn't have a lot to lose especially as the only damage was to the nosegear. The leg was broken and the tyre missing:
Finding replacement original BigBird 747 landing gears is nigh impossible so I put the model on display as was and waited. Then yesterday I remembered that I did have a 747 donor in the form of a Qantas 747SP (GJQFA1069) made by Gemini Jets in 2011. This model not only had broken wingtip aerials but was also suffering from some paint bubbling.
With NG Models having released a replacement SP last year this model was surplus and not really worth anything. Obviously with the UTA model having been made in 2005 it didn't have rolling gear so the undercarriage on the 2011 Gemini was substantially different. Fortunately the gear on these Gemini 747s is rock solid, which aided me removing it. This was done by removing the tyre and then simply pulling it off with a pair of pliers!
I was also able to use the pliers on the broken nosegear leg of the UTA but I swiftly realised that the hole for the UTA nosegear is quite a bit smaller than that for the Qantas. The result was I had to cut around the gear base to allow a rough fit. From there it was just a case of gluing the gear in and voila. The fit isn't perfect but I'm happy enough with the job, which unless you get super close looks like it was the original.
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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